[ Above Photo: From left to right: Loes Cofell (Ayr Charity BBQ Executive) and Oliver Burechails (WWDSS Member)]
For Immediate Release - March 21, 2021
The Ayr Charity BBQ volunteers and organizers have been tasked with tough decisions over the past several months and have decided the Ayr Charity BBQ will not be moving forward with any future BBQ competitions or festival activities. The 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the opportunity for a successful 2021 event is becoming less likely.
“The decision has not been easy but given the uncertainty of the pandemic it was in the best interest of the Ayr Charity BBQ volunteers and its community to suspend 2021 which ultimately led to our final decision to halt all Ayr Charity BBQ operations and future events.”
Loes Cofell, Event Co-Founder and Executive Board Member
Each year the Ayr Charity BBQ chose a local charity to be the recipient of the funds raised at the event. It had been announced that the Waterloo Wellington Down Syndrome Society would be the recipient of the 2020 event funds, but that dream was crushed when COVID-19 affected the success of the event. However, the organizers of the BBQ competition and festival had some additional funds from previous fundraisers in 2020 and also reached out to their remaining sponsors to consider forwarding their sponsorships, in which they all graciously agreed. With careful consideration the organizers decided to fulfil their promise and chose to make one last donation. All of the remaining funds, which total over $20,000.00, have been forwarded to the Waterloo Wellington Down Syndrome Society.
[ Above Photo : From left to right: Loes Cofell & Missy Dietrich (Ayr Charity BBQ Executives), Emma Casagrande & Noelle Hart (WWDSS Members), Tara Hart & Mary Casagrande (WWDSS Board Co-Chairs) ]
"It was bittersweet to receive this incredibly generous donation from Ayr Charity BBQ,"
explains Tara Hart, Board Co-Chair, Waterloo Wellington Down Syndrome Society.
"This organization, their volunteers, sponsors and community supporters have done so much for local charities and to be the recipient of their final donation fills us with immense gratitude. Many charities have been struggling to raise funds this past year and WWDSS had to cancel one of our two major fundraisers in 2020, and again in 2021. This donation will help us to continue serving our members with Down syndrome and their families. Providing connection, support, and virtual programming for our members has never been more important than right now. This donation came as a beautiful surprise during an otherwise challenging time."
[ Above Photo: From left to right: Emma Casagrande & Noelle Hart (WWDSS Members) ]
“Ayr Charity BBQ wishes to thank each and every person who was involved in the success of the event including local sponsors, supporting businesses, volunteers, vendors, performers, friends, family, the township of North Dumfries and everyone who attended the event over the years. Without your support we would not have been able to run the event nor donate more than $100,000 to local charities.”
- Missy Dietrich, Event Co-Founder and Executive Board Member
“It was a pleasure hosting new BBQ teams from all over North America and highlighting our village to the many people who supported it. We enjoyed seeing the Village of Ayr work together and support the initiative. We will truly miss providing an opportunity for people to come together, get to know each other and share in the opportunity to support a good cause.”
-Vanessa Janzen, Event Co-Founder and Committee Volunteer.
About the Ayr Charity BBQ:
The Ayr Charity BBQ
is a non-profit organization that holds an inclusive community BBQ competition and festival. The event is designed to support a new local charity in need each year. ACB is run by a volunteer Executive board and several hard-working volunteer committees. With the support of the volunteers, the town and local sponsors, we strive to bring awareness to the charity and achieve the highest dollar amount possible to assist those in need, all while creating a wonderful, family-friendly event for many to enjoy each year.
About the Waterloo Wellington Down Syndrome Society:
The Waterloo Wellington Down Syndrome Society
(formerly the Waterloo Regional Down Syndrome Society) is a charitable, non-profit organization created in 1988 by parents of children with Down syndrome. Entirely run by volunteers, every dollar raised goes towards helping fund the various programs and services provided to our members. The Waterloo Wellington Down Syndrome Society supports and informs individuals, families and the community on issues related to Down syndrome. We advocate for persons with Down syndrome to lead healthy and active lives, enabling them to contribute their unique gifts to our community.